In-Depth: Loan Platform Upgrade Q&A
William Pollard once said, “Learning and innovation go hand in hand.” We focus on that mindset every day to deliver the best small dollar lending product possible to our clients. And we have listened to our clients, who have given us great ideas on how to simplify and continue to evolve our platform.
Our latest upgrade, version 6.7, is designed to improve the experience for both end users and those at the financial institutions who are managing our product. To highlight some of the prominent changes and upgrades, we’ve reached out to the Director of Client Success, Heidi Tinsley, and the Director of Product, Amanda Olson.
Thanks so much for your time! How excited are you both in getting these latest upgrades and features up and running, and seeing the results of these efforts going into 2020?
A: We’re very excited about the features offered in this release. Our clients have asked for a number of these advancements and we’re excited to be able to offer them. 2020 planning is also underway and we’re excited for the future of our product.
A new feature lets the financial institution staff customize the small dollar loan platform. They can choose to allow users to disable automatic payments or offer auto payments at a lower interest rate as a way to incentivize them to choose auto-pay. Why are you offering this level of customization?
A: We like to make our platform as flexible and configurable as possible for our clients. They understand their audience and what will drive usage. We are here to support that.
Talk to me about the eligibility checks you’ve added related to direct deposits. I see there is a threshold amount. What are the details and the advantages here for participating financial institutions and their customers?
A: This feature is designed to help accurately depict the amount loan requesters should be offered. We don’t want to view deposits from sources like Venmo as income because those aren’t often reflective of the actual financial state of the member. In other words, it’s important to offer the appropriate loan values they qualify for based on an income stream versus cash they’re getting from friends or family. This feature aids in that. As an additional point, our clients continue to have the flexibility to choose which items to use in qualifying their end consumers for their loan offers.
You’ve also added a drop-down box that allows the end user to choose which account they would like the financial institution to use to pay the loan fee. What is this function and how will it change the product?
A: This allows the loan requester to select which account they want to use to pay the loan fee and where they want their funds to be deposited. It’s a feature designed to offer flexibility and choice.
Participating financial institutions are now able to add pre-set fields that will require the loan requester to specify the purpose of the loan. Why did your clients request this?
Our clients like to be able to track what the loans are being used for. For example, to pay for a wedding, rent, home improvements, etc. This provides them with information about their consumer base they would not otherwise have.
I also see that you’ve added features for those clients who choose to use your pre-approval campaign module. The improvement allows the financial institution staff the ability to edit or expire offerings to individuals during pre-approved campaigns. What was the genesis of this upgrade?
We have had good success with our current pre-approved campaign module and so we are continuing to enhance this experience. For example, let’s say a client wants to offer a new credit card to a group of their consumers they have already approved based on some sort of criteria, such as a credit score. With the upgrade, we are able to protect our client if an end consumer becomes ineligible while a campaign is in mid-stream. Alternatively, they can also add consumers who become qualified. Financial institutions can also extend the campaign or limit it using the new functionality that allows them to edit the start and end dates. In short, it’s much more flexible than it’s been in the past.
I understand sometimes end consumers use a financial institution’s call center to request a small dollar loan and that you’ve streamlined that process for people. How so?
Yes, that’s right and for those customers, they need to sign the federally required Truth in Lending Disclosure, commonly referred to as TILA. Until now, there wasn’t an easy way to do that over the phone. To fix that, we’ve added a fully-automated and compliant API between our product and DocuSign. What this means is the teller or customer service representation can send the loan requester the disclosure form right away. As soon as the document is signed electronically by the customer, the funds are automatically deposited into their account. This streamlines the funding process and eases the burden on the lending administrators, speeding up the process and creating greater efficiencies.
Sounds like great progress is being made and there is a good deal of collaboration happening between your team and your clients. Thanks again for the update. If you’re interested in learning more about our small dollar lending platform and what it can do for your bank or credit union, reach out to us today. Call us at 1-800-893-7893 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to have a conversation with you!